Substitution of platinum group metals for catalysis

It is important to address besides carbon also sustainability in terms of other elements, of which stockpiles in nature are limited. To this end, ORSY develops new synthetic catalytic methods for direct functionalization (based on C-H activation) using inexpensive and abundant commodity metals such as Cu or Fe instead of rare and expensive platinum group metals. On the other hand, LADCA works on the development of nanostructured catalytic materials which aim to substitute platinum group metals in automotive catalysts. The automotive industry is currently the main consumer of platinum group metals in Europe. Finally, ORSY is developing several classes of organometallic reagents and catalysts which can be easily separated of reaction products, recovered and reused.  For example, for those applications where a suitable cheap substitution of a noble metal is not evident, the recovery of metal catalysts (noble metal + ligand) via organic solvent nanofiltration is investigated. However, also other approaches, such as a recently patented extraction-based technology for separation, recovery and reuse of organotin reagents show high potential. Finally, valorization of mineral metal waste stream by means of conversion in added value products via formulation or chemical transformation such as carbonation is investigated by LADCA in collaboration with VITO and connects to the Strategic Initiative Materials (SIM) agenda.